Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Inspired by her own wedding experience, Lauren Bercier realized the amount of waste that comes with hosting a wedding and discovered an opportunity to educate others on its environmental impact. Fulfilling her dreams of becoming a business owner, Lauren co-founded Something Borrowed Blooms, a rent and return floral company based in South Louisiana helping to reduce waste in the floral and wedding industry. In this fireside chat, Lauren highlights how Something Borrowed Blooms is changing how couples can make sustainable wedding choices at an affordable price.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Reflecting on her experience in the floral and wedding industry, Lauren emphasizes the importance of education in shifting this industry towards a more sustainable future.
What inspired you to launch Something Borrowed Blooms?
I started this company with my cousin and we wanted to create something that was revolutionary, different, and shakes up a stagnant market. We were brainstorming during a time when Rent the Runway was gaining so much popularity. The Runway-like business model and concept really intrigued us. During that time, it felt like we were going to weddings every other weekend. We saw our friends and family trying to save money and stay within their budget. We took the Rent the Runway concept and applied it to the wedding industry by offering wedding flowers for rent.
We initially didn’t know if this was going to work, but once we did some research and saw so many beautiful faux flowers available, we saw there was an opportunity to create an affordable option for brides who don’t want to break the bank.
I also reflected on my own wedding flower experience because I met with a few different florists where I went back and forth in selecting flowers for my wedding. When my florist showed up with a box of flowers on my wedding day, they weren’t the flowers I imagined.
I spent thousands of dollars on these flowers that ended up in the trash at the end of the night. I had buyer’s remorse and I thought there has to be a better way to reduce this waste.
What did you notice about waste in the weddings and events industry?
Having the opportunity to talk about sustainability in the wedding and events industry made me sit down and figure out the problems we’re trying to fight against. Weddings are built and marketed around the idea of excess and luxury—the opposite of sustainability.
Weddings come with a lot of waste. I learned that an average wedding in the US produces 400 pounds of garbage, which means that the wedding industry is responsible for over a billion pounds of trash each year. One wedding in one day will also emit over 63 tons of CO2, which is typically 4x more than the average American in an entire year.
Considering these stats, they made me think about how we can minimize these impacts. Although there’s no such thing as a completely sustainable wedding, couples can make sustainable choices for their wedding that don’t feel like a sacrifice.
What drives consumer behavior in the floral industry?
Weddings are a very traditional space. It’s difficult to change the consumer’s mindset on this once-in-a-lifetime event where they’ve been conditioned by society to think what weddings should look like. Flowers are the largest accent you can add to a wedding day outside of your attire or venue choice. They set the tone and tell the story of the bride on her wedding day. For example—Is it romantic? Is it bold? Is it a classic?
I think most consumers don’t think about the implications of where flowers are being shipped from or what happens after. There’s an opportunity to educate people on what’s happening behind the scenes and how they can make better choices.
How do you expand the education piece (eg., to guests, family members)?
It’s a lot of word of mouth. For example, some of our couples are worried that guests might take an arrangement home at the end of the night. To prevent this, some couples will make an announcement that their flowers are rentals from Something Borrowed Flowers and people should not take them home. In the process, they’ll learn about what it means to rent flowers and why it’s sustainable. We’ve even had brides say they love us and can’t wait to share insider information with other soon-to-be brides.
How can we plan a sustainable wedding with Something Borrowed Blooms?
Something Borrowed Blooms specializes in premium silk flowers that we rent out to couples for the weekend of their wedding. We’re able to offer you a more affordable, sustainable, and convenient option for wedding flowers.
We have 17 collections to choose from each collection—bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, hair pieces, dog collars, 3 different centerpiece sizes, garlands, etc. We also have a full line of decor such as brass candlesticks, lanterns, neon signs, etc. You can rent any of these items for minimal pricing for the weekend and send them back where they can be reused again. Shop online 24/7 at somethingborrowedblooms.com — it’s that easy!
What are the cost-savings for renting flowers?
Everything is priced 70% less than the fresh florist average. We’re able to reuse these items over and over again, so our products are being recycled from wedding to wedding. We’re able to recoup that investment and pass on those savings to our customers.
The national average wedding flower cost is $3,500, which is a lot of money. At Something Borrowed Blooms, the average order is $500-$600. Though, the price varies because some people order less or more.
We also don’t have any minimums or packages. Everyone has different needs and we don’t want you to have to buy any more or less of anything that you don’t want or need.
How does your supply chain work?
We have 45 people on staff, so we have a huge team. Our main warehouse is 15,000 square feet and we have two additional warehouses that we use to house our raw materials. We have around 30,000 units of rentable inventory that are constantly in rotation.
We’ve spent a lot of time and resources building on the technology to scale our company. We have automated logistics in place to streamline our delivery, which is the most critical aspect of our company.
Each item can be rented up to 26 times per year if it was fully utilized. We have products on the shelf that have been in rotation for several years. We’re constantly making sure they’re meeting quality standards. When products are returned, it goes through a quality control process. Our production team who are all floral designers or floral assistants review that product. They’re able to see if any of the components are going to change. For example, if a flower is bent or broken, we pull that piece out and replace it with a new one. Then, the product stays intact and stays in inventory. We’re not in the habit of discarding an entire product. If comes back where there’s some salvageable pieces—we’ll disassemble a product and take what’s usable and reuse it for another product.
Flowers that can’t be sent out due to quality concerns are reused for photoshoots or recycled for other non-wedding events. If a product comes back damaged, you will be charged a fee, which is 150% of the rental value. These scenarios are minimal. Most items are returned on time and in good condition.
How has the wedding and event industry changed since starting Something Borrowed Blooms? What is your future vision?
We’ve seen that shift over the past several years. When we first started the company, we were really focused on affordability. We thought the cost savings of renting your wedding flowers is what’s going to drive most people’s decision. Since we’ve seen a real shift in 70% of couples who are now looking to make sustainable choices for their wedding, we’re happy to be able to provide that choice for them.
Couples can now become more aware of the choices that are available to them and realize how their collective impact can help shift us towards a more sustainable wedding industry.
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